Thursday, July 29, 2010

Odd times

It has been very strange this summer. People have been walking in and out if this writer's life so quickly. I've been thankful for any routine. I've also been thankful for social networking sites. I would be sad to think I might not see some of these people for the rest of my life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stop Screaming!....

I have been spending the past few days editing a video for a Joint military exercise called Global Medic (formerly called "Golden Medic") The exercise helps Army field medical personnel learn casualty evacuation procedures and familiarizes them with the Air Force's role in that realm. Many of the participants and trainers have been deployed to OIF, OEF, and a host of humanitarian missions. They have seen death in all shape and form.

One of our photographers saw the patch on a flight helmet and he grabbed the shot. I saw the image when I was reviewing everyone's footage and it stopped me cold. It was funny, heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time.

The day I saw this picture I learned that the husband of my college roomie and dear friend, Julie, was diagnosed with ALS. He is a Marine. He ran 5 miles before he had the blood work done. Their lives changed in an instant. Julie survived cancer when we were fresh out of college. She got better and stronger and had 2 beautiful children with Tim. And now...this.

I glanced from that email to this photograph and saw summed up in just a few words what all of humanity, and especially deployed military, are feeling when death is finally perceived as inevitable: Fear. What I found inspiring about this photo is how we in the military are taught, in a way, to rapidly distill all of those emotions, acknowledge the fear, the inevitable, and keep moving. You learn early that when you say, "I'm tired" you have to instantly think, "We're all tired, damn it. Keep moving. Stop screaming! I'm scared, too!" The knowledge that you are not alone is crucial to your survival.

I think Tim will appreciate this photo.

This most excellent picture was taken by SMSgt Dennis Martin of the most excellent 4th Combat Camera Squadron, which is a group of most excellent people.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wally's Notes

Wally and I have a somewhat busy schedule during his school year. I usually leave the house before he wakes up. He dutifully gets up, showers and gets ready for school by himself. I hate it. I feel like the worst mother because I am not there to give him a hug before he leaves, or make him pancakes. I know he's learning responsibility, but I still feel that it's unfair to him. So we write notes.

My notes usually include drawings. This little note was slipped into his lunch bag. He is a notoriously picky eater and will shy away from fruit and veggies. Well, this day I apparently added grapes to the menu. I must not have had enough faith that the attempt would succeed because I added guilt to the note, in a way only a mother knows how. (haha) The grapes I drew were crying because Wally wouldn't try them. One said, "Why won't he eat us?" You have to know that I was sooooo amused when I saw the grapes' response under my note. One of his little grapes says, "Thank you for trying us. We feel better."

This little note, I feel, embodies my relationship with my son.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Night Walking at March Air Reserve Base

I went for a walk around base last night. I love this place after hours. It's like a ghost town. The wind starts moving the palm fronds and shadows make the grass look alive. I love to just sit on a stoop and watch the entire base exhale at the end of the day.

I feel like an owl sitting on a post processing the smallest movements.

If I'm lucky I actually see a burrowing owl. Last night I only found a feather. I was happy with that, though.